Because I have more money than you, I am better than you, because I am stronger, smarter, better educated, more handsome or attractive in the eyes of the world, I am better than you. And they are correct, in the eyes of this world of Satan’s, they are better than us, and he is more than pleased to assist them into continuing to think that way.
It is called competition, and it is a very difficult path to leave. Watch any sporting event that you want to that has multiple players on each team, when the game begins, and never forget that is all it is, a game, there is much energy and enthusiasm, as one team begins to dominate the other, that enthusiasm begins to turn to frustration, and as time begins to end, there is nothing left for the opposing team but the rote performances of the routines they have practiced over and over, they are not the best team today. “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Eccl. 7:3)
To those who have been crucified with Christ, those who walk humbly in reverence and awe of the Almighty God, there is no desire left for competition, we esteem others as better than ourselves, (Phil. 2:3) we see our brothers and sisters in Christ in love, and we see the lost as they are, rebellious, wicked, in need of Christ, and still competing, in one form or another, with the world, and thereby themselves. “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1 Cor. 1:29)
Once a person recognizes the absolute Sovereignty of the Most High, all competition stops, for there is no doubt left in our minds as to who is in charge. There are of course those who are saved by the grace of God that still enjoy the game, no matter what that challenge may be, but only for the pure enjoyment that it brings to them, winning is desired, but not required or necessary. And there are challenges that are set before the born-again believer, ones with eternal rewards. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) And “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
There can be no greater challenge set before us than to be Christlike, in all of His attributes, in His character. Here is the race we are told to run, (Heb. 12:1) and we are told to do so with all of our strength, to not falter, to not rest, to always be moving closer to the knowledge of the Lord God, as much as He would desire to reveal to us of Himself. There can be no greater competition than that of dying to self for the glory of God, and once He has revealed even the most miniscule part of Himself to us, nothing else in this life can compare.
That attractive woman will not always be beautiful, and it will cause her much grief when that day arrives, the strong man will lose his strength as he ages, and it will break him, and all those of the world will one day leave their sides, they will stop emulating them, they will search for the next person they wish they also could be like. “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)
I owned a shirt many years ago, meant basically for body and strength builders, those who spent much time in the gym. On it was a person that was supposed to represent the Lord Jesus, in a push-up position, straining every muscle, sweat pouring off Him, with a rugged, splintered cross on His back. The words on the shirt read, “Carry This.” I cannot stand in competition to that, I can only watch as He did so and thank Him, follow Him, obey Him, and call Him Lord and Master.
The only competition I attempt these days is with that old man, (Rom. 6:6) my sinful nature that still resides within me, and I can’t even best him most days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try, it doesn’t mean that I am going to give up, it only means that I know the One who will someday remove it from me.